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THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on,
the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

Archive for Super Bowl

RECIPE: Chicken Chili Bake with Chipotle Cheddar Biscuits

chicken chili chipotle cornbread

Here’s a hearty chili and chicken dish for
game day. We made extra biscuits. Who can
resist Cheddar Chipotle Buttermilk Biscuits?


We’re having a small group over tomorrow to watch the New York City Marathon, and are making the same recipe that was popular with them last year.

We’re doubling the recipe, so we can have leftovers and because fights almost broke out over the Chipotle Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuits.


Ingredients For 4-6 Servings
For The Chili

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1-1/2 cups crushed tomatoes
  • 1-1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans
  • For The Biscuits

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, cut in small cubes
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) Wisconsin cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons chipotles in adobo, any seeds removed, chopped and patted dry


    1. MAKE the chili: In a deep cast iron skillet or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. When the pan is hot, brown the chicken on both sides, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. (You may need to do this in 2 batches–do not overcrowd the pan.) Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.

    2. DISCARD all but 1 tablespoon of oil from the pan and return it to medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they begin to soften, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Add the chili powder and cumin, mix to combine and cook 1 minute. Add the crushed tomatoes and chicken broth.

    3. INCREASE the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Return the thighs to the pan and nestle them in the tomato sauce mixture. Reduce the heat to low; cover and simmer 35 to 40 minutes.

    While chicken simmers, prepare the biscuit dough.


    Cheddar Jalapeno Biscuits

    We served the extra biscuits with honey butter. Here’s the recipe. Photo courtesy McCormick.



    4. HEAT the oven to 450°F. In large bowl, the whisk flour, salt and baking powder. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until the mixture is crumbly. Add the buttermilk and cheese; stir until just combined. Fold in the chopped chipotles.

    5. TURN the dough onto a floured work surface. Flatten and gently fold the dough over onto itself 5 or 6 times. Press into an 8-inch circle, about 1-inch thick. With a floured biscuit cutter or cookie cutter (about 2.75-inch diameter), cut the biscuits. Press the dough scraps together and cut additional biscuits.

    6. REMOVE the chicken thighs when they have reached 165°F internal temperature on a meat thermometer. Place on a cutting board to cool slightly.

    7. ADD the beans to the tomato sauce mixture and keep the pan over low heat. Remove the skin and bones from the chicken and shred the meat using two forks. Return the shredded meat to the pan and mix well. Top the chili mixture with the biscuits so that they barely touch. Place the pan in othe ven and bake 20 minutes or until the biscuits are golden brown.

    If you are baking extra biscuits, bake them on a parchment-topped baking sheet.



    RECIPE: Veal Meatballs With Vodka Sauce


    Veal meatballs with vodka sauce. Enjoy them
    in a multitude of ways. Photo courtesy


    Want to try a new meatball recipe for National Pasta Month? Looking for something more sophisticated to serve on game day? How about veal meatballs?

    Meatballs can be served as an appetizer or a main course, as an accompaniment to pasta, or on a hero roll or other sandwich bread.

    As opposed to the more familiar beef-pork meatball blend in a garlicky red sauce, this recipe from Nielsen-Massey for Breaded Veal Meatballs with Vodka Sauce is elegant, while remaining hearty.

    In addition to the sexy ingredient, vodka, a combination of cheese and cream, and an assortment of vegetables, herbs and spices, create a rich sauce that pairs nicely with pasta or rice. Or, the meatballs can be served in smaller appetizer sizes with toothpicks.

    If you don’t want veal meatballs, you can substitute beef—ideally, grass fed.

    You can also eliminate the vanilla bean paste; but it provides a lovely flavor element. The mellow qualities of the paste enhance the full flavors of veal and herbs to create meatballs that are far from bland. And you can use it in many other recipes (see below).


    Ingredients For 18 Meatballs & 4 Cups Of Sauce (Serves 6 As A Main Course)

    For The Meatballs

  • 1 pound ground veal
  • ¼ cup whole milk ricotta
  • ¼ cup finely grated carrot
  • 2 small green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon organic garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground oregano
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • Garnish: fresh Italian parsley, chopped (garnish)
    For The Breading

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1½ cups plain panko bread crumbs
  • ½ cup freshly grated Romano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
    For The Vodka Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • ½ cup vodka
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil leaves
  • 1¼ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon ground oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon organic garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 can (28-ounces) whole tomatoes, drained
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Romano cheese (you can substitute Parmesan)
  • ½ cup whipping cream, warmed
  • Garnish: chiffonade of fresh basil leaves (here’s how to chiffonade)


    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place a wire rack atop/inside the sheet and coat the rack with cooking spray. Set aside.

    2. COMBINE the meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Form the mixture into meatballs, about 1 inch in diameter. Set aside.

    3. BREAD the meatballs, using three medium bowls. In the first bowl, add the flour. In the second bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk. In the third bowl, add the bread crumbs, Romano cheese and melted butter and stir to combine. Dust each meatball with flour, dip in the egg wash and coat with the seasoned bread crumbs.

    4. PLACE the breaded meatballs on the wire rack and cook until done, about 30 minutes.

    5. MAKE the vodka sauce: Add the olive oil to a large sauté pan and heat over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the vodka, basil, salt, vanilla extract, oregano, garlic powder and pepper; cook until reduced by half.



    Vanilla paste. Photo by Claire Freierman | THE NIBBLE.


    6. PLACE the whole tomatoes in the bowl of a food processor or electric blender. Add the reduced sauce mixture; cover and process or blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into a large saucepan and place over medium heat. Add the grated Romano cheese and cream; stir until thoroughly combined. Simmer for 3 minutes, or until heated through.

    7. SERVE the vodka sauce with meatballs: atop pasta, on a hero-size slice of baguette or on a plate over rice, other grain or egg noodles. Garnish with fresh basil.

    Vanilla is a concentrated substitute for vanilla extract in paste form, made from combining ground vanilla with vanilla extract, along with a natural thickening agent (a gum); some products contain sugar.

    It is a replacement for whole vanilla beans for people who want authentic vanilla bean flavor and appearance, but don’t use whole beans often enough (whole vanilla beans will dry out and become hard over time, while vanilla bean paste has a very long shelf life). One tablespoon of vanilla bean paste is equal to one whole vanilla bean.

    Unlike vanilla extract, vanilla paste contains the ground seeds/pods that provide “specks” in lighter-colored dish.



    RECIPE: Meatloaf Hero Sandwich


    A hearty meatloaf sub for Oscar watchers. EatWisconsin


    Here’s a suggestion from From Eat Wisconsin Switch the popular meatball submarine sandwich for a meatball hero, sub or hero whatever you call it in your neck of the woods (see the note below).

    It’s an easy way to feed a crowd during events like the Academy Awards. If you serve half a hero to everyone, along with other nibbles, this recipe feeds 12.


    Ingredients For 6 Sandwiches

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 8 ounces ground pork
  • 1 cup (9 ounces) Asiago cheese, grated
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon cracked pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons whole-grain Dijon-style mustard
  • 6 sub/hero/French rolls
  • 6 leaves of lettuce
  • 12 tomato slices
  • 12 slices provolone cheese
  • Plus

  • Cole slaw, potato salad or French fries

    1. MAKE the meatloaf; Preheat oven to 375°F (conventional; if using a convection oven, preheat to 325°F).

    2. COMBINE the meats, Asiago, egg, breadcrumbs, parsley, Dijon mustard, pepper and salt in a bowl. Mix well and pack into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Bake the loaf until cooked through and browned, 55 to 60 minutes.

    3. REMOVE the meatloaf from the oven and drain the fat. Cool completely before slicing into 12 slices.

    4. BLEND the mayonnaise and mustard. Split the rolls and top each bottom bun with 1 tablespoon of the spread plus lettuce, 2 tomato slices, 2 meatloaf slices and 2 provolone slices. Top with the roll tops, and serve the sandwiches with potato salad or French fries.


    Hero is the New York term for the sandwich also called the grinder, hoagie, po’ boy, torpedo, submarine, zeppelin and other names, depending on region.

    The term “hero” originated in the late 19th century when the sandwich was created to serve Italian laborers, who wanted the convenient lunch they had enjoyed in Italy. The name is credited to New York Herald Tribune food writer Clementine Paddleford, who wrote that “you needed to be a hero to finish the gigantic Italian sandwich.”

    The original hero sandwich, on an oblong roll, piled on Italian cold cuts, cheese, seasonings, oil and vinegar. Varieties evolved to include the meatball hero, eggplant parmigiana and chicken parmigiana heroes.

    These days, basically, anything served on a large, oblong roll is a hero.

    The other sandwiches—grinders, hoagies, etc.—developed with regional ingredients and preferences, but also evolved to include anything served on a large, oblong roll.

    FOOD TRIVIA: The sandwich is the #1 homemade dish.


    FOOD FUN: Super Bowl Cocktails

    Drink your team colors on Super Bowl Sunday, with these layered cocktails made with Blue Chair Rum.

    These recipes, courtesy of Eclectic Recipes, have fun visual impact. You’ll also be adding a bit of the tropics to a cold day.


    Ingredients Per Drink

  • 1/2 jigger or 3/4 oz Blue Chair Bay Coconut Rum
  • 1/2 jigger or 3/4 oz Blue Curaçao
  • 1 jigger or 1-1/2 ounces pineapple juice
  • 2 teaspoons maraschino cherry juice
  • Garnish: 1 maraschino cherry

    1. COMBINE the run, Curaçao and pineapple juice in a shaker. Shake well and pour over ice in cocktail glass.



    Patriot Punch, front, and Seahawk Slammer. Photo courtesy

    2. ADD two teaspoons maraschino cherry juice slowly and let it fall to the bottom of the drink. Garnish with a cherry and serve.

    Ingredients Per Drink

  • 1/2 jigger or 3/4 ounce Blue Chair Bay Coconut Rum
  • 1/2 jigger or 3/4 ounce Blue Curaçao
  • 1 jigger or 1-1/2 ounces pineapple juice
  • 2 teaspoons melon liqueur (like Midori)
  • Garnish: lemon slice for Garnish

    1. COMBINE the Blue Chair Bay Coconut Rum, Blue Curaçao and pineapple juice in a shaker. Shake well and pour over ice in cocktail glass.

    2. ADD the melon liqueur slowly, and let it fall to the bottom of the glass. Garnish with lemon and serve.



    FOOD FUN: Football Pizza


    Don’t fumble the pizza! Football pizza from Due Forni | Las Vegas.


    If you were at Due Forni restaurant, you could order a football pizza. But there’s no need to travel to Austin or Las Vegas: It’s easy to make your own.

    Using your favorite pizza recipe:

    1. STRETCH the dough into a more oblong shape. If you’re using a prepared round crust, you could trim it, but it’s easier to default to the round shape.

    2. PLACE the pepperoni in the center as shown.

    3. CUT strips of mozzarella for the laces.

    4. BAKE as usual.

    Be sure to have extra pizzas ready to be made when this one is devoured!




    FOOD FUN: Super Bowl Team Colors In Frosting

    If you’re making cake cupcakes for Super Bowl feasting, you can ice them with your team colors. McCormick has the recipes for all the NFL team colors.

    McCormick suggests adding the color to a 16-ounce can of white frosting, but if you have a picky palate, you might prefer to make your own buttercream or cream cheese frosting (here are the recipes).

    Both sets of team colors require regular food colors and a box of McCormick NEON! food colors. The New England Patriots red also requires a bottle of black food color.

    So get mixing and surprise your family and guests with something sweet, with our hopes that the day will be even sweeter when your team wins.

    While it’s easy to frost a cake with half of each frosting color, McCormick offers these tips for cupcakes:



    Mix your team colors. The asterisks * indicate neon colors.Photo courtesy McCormick.


  • Spoon and Swirl Formation: Place one tablespoon of each color frosting on a cupcake, then spread and swirl the frosting with a small knife or spatula.
  • Pastry Bag Conversion: Place both colored frostings side-by-side in a pastry bag and squeeze them out together.

    The difference between frosting and icing is that icing is made with confectioners sugar’ (also called icing sugar and 10x sugar). But the two words are used interchangeably by those not aware of this nuance.



    SUPER BOWL: Garrett Popcorn

    For Super Bowl munching, how about some Spicy CheeseCorn? The limited edition flavor from Garrett Popcorn is a welcome gift: a yummy blend of cayenne pepper and chili powder mixed with freshly melted Cheddar cheese corn.

    Combine with a cold beer, and you may not care who wins or loses.

    Send Spicy CheeseCorn as a gift or send some to yourself, at

    You can choose from an array of tin sizes and six different tin designs, from 1 gallon to 6.5 gallons ($31 to $135). And if you don}t like things spicy, you can choose from Garrett’s other flavors:

  • Almond CaramelCrisp
  • Buttery
  • CaramelCrisp
  • Cashew CaramelCrisp
  • CheeseCorn


    Spicy CheeseCorn; BYOB. Photo courtesy Garrett Popcvorn.

  • Garrett Mix (sweet CaramelCrisp with savory CheeseCorn)
  • Macadamia CaramelCrisp
  • Pecan CaramelCrisp
  • Plain
    You can order single flavors or combine three flavors in one tin. Details are on the company website.



    TIP OF THE DAY: Greek Layered Dip


    This variation, from Cameron Curtis | The
    Food Network
    , uses artichoke hearts. Photo
    courtesy Food Network.


    How many times have you had a Mexican layered dip—a.k.a. Seven Layer Bean Dip or Seven Layer Taco Dip—a layering of chopped black olives, diced tomatos, grated Cheddar, guacamole, refried beans, sliced green onions and sour cream, served with tortilla chips?

    Sure, it’s popular. But for this year’s Super Bowl, how about a different spin: a seven layer Greek-style dip with pita chips? That’s what we’re making.

    Yo don’t need seven layers: You can choose as many or as few layers as you like. The one thing we personally insist on is layering the ingredients in a glass salad bowl, so everyone can enjoy the pretty layers before the chip-dippers get busy.



  • Babaganoush
  • Hummus
  • Tzatziki

  • Feta cheese, crumbled
  • Plain Greek yogurt

  • Artichoke hearts, well drained and chopped
  • Cucumbers, diced and seeded
  • Kalamata olives, chopped
  • Fresh tomatoes, chopped and seeded or sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • Red or yellow bell peppers, small dice
  • Chopped red onions or thinly sliced green onions

  • Optional garnish: fresh dill, mint and/or parsley, snipped
  • Pita chips


    Here’s a simple recipe from Stacy’s Pita Chips. If you don’t have verrines (the small glasses in the photo), clear juice glasses or other appropriate vessels, you can buy plastic rocks cups (9 ounces).


  • Hummus (you can use flavored hummus for one of the layers)
  • Tzatziki
  • Diced tomatoes (you can substitute red bell pepper when tomatoes are out of season)
  • Toppings: crumbled feta cheese, sliced black olives, minced red onion
  • Garnish: chiffonade of mint, pita chip

    1. PLACE a layer of hummus at the bottom of the glass, followed by a layer of tzatziki. Repeat.



    You can make layered dips as individual portions—a fun appetizer idea. Photo courtesy Stacy’s Pita Chips.


    2. ADD a layer of diced tomatoes. Top with the feta, olives, onion and mint. Crown with a pita chip.



    SUPER BOWL: The “Bivalve Bowl”

    From January 26th through January 31st, the New England Patriots-Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl match-up will be preceded by a competition between bodaceous bivalves.

    The storied Grand Central Oyster Bar in the heart of Manhattan is hosting “Super Bowl XLIX Oyster Platter,” pitting two New England oysters (Katama and Wellfleet) against two Washington challengers (Discovery Bay and Skookum—note that oysters are typically named for the bodies of water where they are harvested).

    Chef Sandy Ingber has selected beverage pairings to complement the oysters: for Patriots fans, Cisco “Whales Tale” Pale Ale from Nantucket; for Seahawks fans, Washington State’s Chateau St. Michelle 2013 Dry Riesling 2013.

    If you have a supplier of fresh oysters and a talent for shucking, you can serve this gourmet fare during the game.

    If not, call the Grand Central Oyster Bar for lunch or dinner reservations: 1.212.490.6650. The eight-oyster combination is $22.35 with beverages extra.



    Game on: Will these Wellfleet oysters from Massachusetts best the Skookums from Washington? Photo courtesy J.P.’s Shellfish.




    TIP OF THE DAY: Pizza & Beer Flight

    Enjoy different beers with your pizza. Photo courtesy Delancey Hollywood.


    Why don’t all pizza restaurants offer a beer tasting flight?

    Delancey Hollywood has it right: a tasting of four different beers to enjoy with your pizza.

    If you can’t make it to Hollywood, create the concept at home. How about debuting it during the Super Bowl?

    Since most people don’t want to consume four entire beers with a pizza, buy plastic tumblers for shorter pours.

    The biggest challenge is what beers to offer. You can do a tasting of four different lagers or other beer types to compare brands, or mix it up: an ale, IPA, lager and stout, for example.

    We’re so into this idea, we’re going to have it for lunch today.

    Now, the second biggest challenge: What type of pizza to order?




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